Basildon Hospital Macmillan team lead the way for end of life care improvements

THE Macmillan team at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of ten selected to improve end of life care across the UK.

Almost half of people who die in England and Wales do so in hospital yet the standard of end of life care varies considerably between hospitals.

The "Building the Best‟ programme will support improvements in the knowledge, quality and leadership provided in hospital so patients experience good, quality and safe care, while making the right choices for themselves and their family.

Basildon was chosen from 40 hospitals that applied to be part of the programme, listing the projects and procedures already in place to help end of life patients.

Karen Andrews, Macmillan team leader at Basildon Hospital, said: “We‟re really excited to be selected to be at the forefront of this project and improve end of life care for everyone. Patients and their families have the right to expect a high standard of care, especially when at the end of life. I‟m proud of the work my team does to ensure we offer consistent, high-quality care and I hope we can improve on this even further, while working alongside other hospitals to build on shared experiences and initiatives.”

The programme, which is UK-wide, will initially roll-out in England. It is funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and is supported by a partnership between the National Council for Palliative Care, Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS England and the NHS Trust Development Authority in England.

As well as further developing the work of the transforming end of life care in acute hospitals programme, „Building on the Best‟ will develop new areas of focus for improving end of life care. These will include making information more accessible to patients and their families, to enable more shared decision making; taking the opportunities offered by outpatient appointments to discuss advance and anticipatory care planning; improving the handover of information and records as people move between acute and secondary care; and improving pain and symptom management.

Health Minister Ben Gummer said: “I am determined to improve end of life care and this excellent initiative will benefit thousands of patients and their families at one of the most difficult and vulnerable moments of their lives.

“Thanks to the hard work of the NCPC and Macmillan, the crucial lessons from this programme can be evaluated, shared and implemented in hospitals across the country to ensure the NHS continues to provide high quality care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The programme will run for two and a half years. There will be a thorough evaluation and lessons learned will be used to contribute to improvement work on palliative and end of life care in acute hospitals across the country. Key staff, representing the project teams, from each of the ten will gather for first time at a two day event in March.

Anita Hayes was part of the panel who selected the ten successful trusts. She says “We were impressed by the number and the quality of the applications received. The Transform programme has clearly helped hospitals make good progress in this area. „Building on the Best‟ will enable us to take this further and help develop ways for these improvements to be shared widely.”

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